May 9, 2016

Apple to Appeal China Trademark Decision

Following on from our news story last week about Apple's recent loss in a trade mark dispute in China – A Rotten 'Apple' in China? Problems for Apple Inc.. – Apple has confirmed in a statement that it will appeal the trademark ruling and take the case to China's Supreme Court. The most recent ruling was in favour of Aintong Tiandi Technology (ATT), who had registered the mark "IPHONE" and sold leather products, including smartphone cases, under the mark. Apple had already appealed to the Beijing Municipal High People's Court but this proved unsuccessful. China is a huge market for Apple though revenue and sales, in particular, have sharply decreased in recent months, reportedly by 26%. The reality of the dispute in question is that ATT do not pose a commercial threat to Apple, though Apple argue consumers might think ATT products were products produced by Apple. The issue for Apple is smaller companies arguably benefiting from the reputation of their brand, and the case in part is about sending a message to what is an important market for Apple, by enforcing its intellectual property rights during difficult times. It will be interesting to see how the case progresses and we will provide a further update as the case develops.

in: News, Trade Marks

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